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Bulls and Bears

News/Business. The latest market news; the week ahead on Wall Street. (CC)

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Jonas 5, Michigan 5, Us 5, Brenda 4, Toro 2, Jonas Max Ferris 1, Brenna Buttner 1, Rosie 1, Kelly Wright 1, Gary B 1, Apple 1, Maryand 1, Tobin Smith 1, Toby 1, Beholden 1, United States 1, The Economy 1, Clayton 1, Greene 1, Man 1,
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  FOX Business    Bulls and Bears    News/Business. The latest market  
   news; the week ahead on Wall Street. (CC)  

    December 23, 2012
    1:00 - 1:30am EST  

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efficient, it feels good. with a hidden gift of helping 76% say the thing that makes them the most happy is helping others. face-to-face is better. 96% say it makes them feel happier they also say makes them feel healthier. they sleep better. i hos fantastic. >> i love you.c. >> i'll be back for a few more shows. >> be here. >> . >> clayton:
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the desperate search for shoppers is on. hoping to reel in buyers and confiden consumer confidence at a low. does that mean that the economy is already scrooged? hi, everyone, i'm he brenna buttner, this is bulls and bears, and we've got gary b smith, tobin smith. jonas max ferris and susan and larry. okay, larry, no deal on taxes and debt scrooging holiday sales and the economy? >> that's right, brenda, you know, i don't want to be the grinch here, but in a word we are scrooged. >> the grinch! >> very, very optimistic expectations and an outlook for retail sales that was very rosie and those optimistic expectations have faded as we've gotten closer and closer tthe end of the year with no fiscal cliff deal in sight. and as a result, consumer sentiment is falling off a cliff, just like the fiscal cliff we're going to fall off so we've got a problem on our hands and couldn't happen at a
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worse time and today, super saturday, the second busiest day of the year. >> brenda: well, a lot of retailers are saving the big discounts until right at christmas and after. if consumers know that, maybe they're waiting, too? >> that's right. a lot of us are procrastinators and haven't started our shopping and a ways to go. you retail holiday season ends on january 31st, not december 31st or december 25th. retailers close their year end books at the end of january and so there's still time, we're going to get a deal on the fiscal cliff, i'm sure of it and there's time for retailers to have great sales for for consumers to go out there and buy stuff and we could have a boom in january. >> brenda: the optimistic, but procrastinating susan and maybe why you haven't received your gift yet. do you buy her math there? >> susan sounds like president obama, who says he was a hopeless optimist. >> i think that was a compliment. >> and that's what susan sounds like, unfortunately, the numbers don't back up what
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you say. look, most economists think that consumer spending needs to grow 3% year it year in order to stimulate employment. at the end of the third quarter, we're right about 3%. most people, even in the retail industry, think the fourth quarter is going to be lousy. now, maybe we get this mirror ball spree buying that susan things we're going to get, i don't think so. if is less than 3% year to year, which it probably will be. i see a very flat economy, if not, unemployment goes back up. >> brenda: okay. jonas, what's your view on spending and what it means to the economy, if we go over the cliff, taxpayers will have less money in their pockets. >> right, which is why it's strange they're spending less than they're supposed to. and right now, never had it so good in the taxes in effect and-- >> for another week. the. >> the problem they know it's going to get worse.
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retailer stocks were doing well, better than the market at large and when the paranoia kicked in, they're not going to affect anything and a big storm that did hurt people's confidence, but the bottom line, consumers are scared and don't know where the taxes are going, it's not a recession, we'll have higher spending this year, but not as high, and estimators lowered the thoughts on what sales are going to be. it's 100% fear-based and coming currently is not that bad. >> but fear does factor into this, doesn't it toby? the fear that they'll have higher taxes, there will be fewer services? >> well, you know, one of the having dichotomies, if you will, of our economy, sort of the top 20% of earners spend about 60% almost of discretionary spending so it's like a 3-1 level factor, if you're worried about the economy and one third of people saying as they are, it matters who the people are and what we're seeing is in the higher income numbers, in the people that actually are
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affected by these tax rates, we are seeing the pullback, and that's what i'm afraid of. it's not the whole economy being scrooged, although i love the teasers you guys make. will the top 20% of the people, if they start to pull back, it has a three-time effect over the overall economy. >> brenda: news alert, toby likes teases. susan, what do you think about that, that it's the higher taxpayer? >> that's definitely a part of the equation here. one of the other intesting facts that's happening in this season versus last season is that the retailers are not discounting as much as they did last year. they all really went hard on the sales very early in the season and they killed their margins last year and they're hotd not doing that this year and it's a direct correlation, higher revenues and lower margins because you're discounting and they decided not to do that and that's hurting them. and that's why i think that post christmas, january you're going to see deeper sales and they'll see the inventory. >> go on amazon today, buy the stuff and get it on monday.
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>> brenda: larry, what do you say about that? >> sure, well, i would say that the real concern is going to be actually for next year, not this year. if we look at the estimates of the national retail federation, they say if taxes go up, that's going to kill retail sales for the first half of next year and that's the concern. when the average consumer gets the pay stub the first half of the year, they're going to hit the roof and see how much more money they're paying to the government and how much less in their wallet to spend at that store they love so much. so the real-- this is a precursor to the real nasty stuff that happens after january 1st if we don't get a deal that keeps taxes low forever. >> to susan's point, if the people stop spending and so alarmed about this, they're going to be marching on congress to get a deal done, aren't they? >> we need a deal done, i think we all agree, we need a deal done. >> brenda: okay, that's, we're not going to go there right now. we've got to talk about the fact that right now, we do have about a week more to do a deal, but consumers are pulling ck, confidence is low. gary b? >> well, absolutely. and the only way the consumer is going to get ou and spend,
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it's a double-edged sword. when i went around the fall, the only stores doing limited 2 where it was 50% off everything. limited 2 can't make money at 50% off everything. the markup is normally, a keystone markup or 100% to give away 50% they're giving away their profits, so if that's the only place that consumers are spending, larry is right we'll see it in 2013, the limited will report zero profits for the quarter. so the problem is, kurms are out there, even if ne spend the retailers aren't making any money. no one wins in this kind of economy. >> brenda: and jonas, if retailers are really hitting their margins, that's a problem because nen we have not only customers not buying, but retailers are hurt and that's all, you know, feeds into itself. >> it's a good time if they don't lower the prices much, if they perceive the economy is strong enough, the consumer is in a strong enough position because they can be wrong the past few weeks, the perception they can get away with higher
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prices. >> no one is shopping there. >> the consumer got the memo, taxes are going up at some point next year. what the problem is, nobody knows who and what and what part of it. if they have some sort of thing, that couldn't have been as bad as the the cliff so we knew it before the holiday shopping season and the ultimaly the salhigher and knowing there's a certain bracket point that may get the increase or not. >> and where gary traveled for the shopping experience, it may have been bad if potomac, maryand. i was in houston, texas, i've never seen more human beings buying stuff the at galleria. >> what at the apple and other store giving 50% off. all the other stores, no one is there. >> they're doing okay and the parts of the country that are doing okay and i think we forgets that they take this all at one thing and a lot of parts of the country are doing good. >> gary b, a response. >> well, for toby's information, i was actually in
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rockville, maryland. >> three miles. >> i went out a little bit. no, i think look, we're going to know in a few weeks what the retailers report. toby says they're doing great. i think they're doing horribly. >> they're doing okay. >> and the ones reporting sales are going to have very little profit. >> amazon, i think i'm going to go long, amazon had a record day onfriday. >> brenda: okay, we'll end on that note. so you want to know why there's no deal in d.c.? neil's gang says look no further than what santa is handing out in d.c. that's at the bottom of the hour, but up here first. just when you thought this number couldn't go any higher. the government launches a youtube channel to push more government handouts. does this add up or is it just
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-greene. i'm kelly wright, back to bulls and bear, for the all the latest headlines go to foxnews.com. uncle sam now on youtube. no, it's not a hoax like the latest youtube video going viral, but it just may have taxpayers going viral. the new online tutorial showing americans how to customize government benefits to suit you. >> to begin the benefit finder you must first answer the nine core questions essential to narrowing your results. remember, the more questions you answer, the more likely you are to be eligible for the benefits that appear on your benefit results list.
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we hope this tutorial has helped you on your path to government benefits. >> so, point, click and pick your benefits. gary b, is this what the nation needs? >> absolutely not, brenda. in fact the opposite. and the whole concept, i think, is scary. i went through and did the tutorial and answered the nine questions, it brought back bad memories of the sat's and i persevered. and i qualified for 25 programs and two questions, one, what is the government doing with all of these programs? why are they involved? noti for example, i qualified f family programs and assist the individual to determine the numbernd spacing of their children. now, i didn't really think that's the government's job. i really, i don't think i need any more assistance in that area. but the bigger question is, brenda, this is all basically free money. as you expand the trough, as you expand the access to people, people are going to flock to it. what does that do?
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it makes us beholden to government. the more beholden to government more bama on the leftnd government wants to raise taxes to feed that trough. >> brenda: i scored higher than you, i went on and i had more than 50 that i could do. >> 50? >> and susan, you say this is more efficient for government? >> it can be. it it counts counter intuitive, what happens in government you create a program, you see whether it works or doesn't work, who is coming to it and if it's not working you create a new program you don't actually kill the old one, we wind up, gary b, you're finding 60 different programs seems like they're doing the same thing. if we have a tool that actually helps us identify the right people to benefit for the programs that we create and the ones that aren't getting, we kill them, we'll get the bureaucracy-- >> and all right. >> you don't believe me, but i tell you, it's true. >> brenda: is th what this online tutorial is all about it or more on the government dole? >> this is about big
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government what the website is about. a better example the government is not serious about reducing run away website. the good news i qualify for 50 different programs, programs i never heard of, i don't need and i don't want. instead, maybe the the government could be using technology to help get people off the benefits. and we can give them skills to go out in the work force. >> that's one of the programs. >> i mean, yeah, we've ruined the whole program-- >> that's one of the programs, you can get more skills and get off the dole. >> brenda: okay, jonas, what's your take? >> and i've got you all beat and i filled out the questionnaire and found a hundred benefits and i realized that was-- i will say, look. >> in bethesda likes you very much. >> and i have no problem helping people with existing programs and shouldn't be confusing, difficult or hard to find. the problem so many of us as people would qualify for them. so less of the country needs to be eligible for benefits, but those that are should have an easy path through a youtube
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site or whatever to get their benefits as long as it's not everybody. >> brenda: now, toby, jonas has your lines now, but go ahead. >> i know, friends with benefit, knock, knock, hello. and the path to benefits, the way he said it, for him is sounds like, should say the path to your entitlements. now, we have 55% of the people who are on, you know, some form already of wealth transfer in the united states. if we're on the path and think our debt is going down. people on medicare now, if you graduate 120,000 in 350,000 in berths. the difference between that, we borrow, and the 20 ways to qualify for 100, 200,000 medicare that you didn't pay in, that scares me. >> brenda: susan. >> you know, a lot of these problems can really be positioned as win-win. so, for instance, weatherizing, getting-- >> right. >> no, they are. if you're getting to weatherize your house and improve the energy efficiency
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to your home, you spend less money and helps the country because we're using less energy. >> why is that a government program? >> can't necessarily afford it on their own. a lot of people have really old homes and can't afford to update now, we're coming out of recession. >> brenda: gary b, go ahead. >> i was shocked-- >> it always comes back to, susan, and toby asked the question, why is that the government's role? but beyond that, you know, you made the point, oh, this is going to help with the efficiency. susan, come on, you've been involved with government and know how it works, none of the lousy programs -- people back there, only power base is growing their program. maybe the programs will be combined and the budget won't double, it will quadruple. nothing's going away. >> brenda: i know, i've got to cut it off now. thanks, everybody. unions now trying to take their battle over michigan's new right to work law to the ballot box. someone here says that's the vote that could bacfire on our entire job market.
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you realize that 49 million americans struggle with hunger? that's one out of every 6 americans. these people are around us every day. they're our friends, they're our coworkers, their kids go to school with our kids. sometimes we're not even aware that they're struggling.
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this problem is closer than you think, but so is the solution. announcer: play a role in ending hunger. visit feedingamerica.org/hunger and find your local food bank.
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>> unions still worked up over michigan's new right to work law. they're trying to get it on the ballot on hope voters will shoot it down. toby says that could have big repercussions everywhere. >> shows 50 years, 10 years, 20 years, right to work states, do not have to pay union dues to work at a company have outperformed in sales growth, job growth and
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unemployment rate and if you look at the vast example of michigan, let's put it towards indiana where they changed the law. come on, man, the math does not add up and you know-- >> susan, your math is different. >> it definitely is. i would say mixed results at best. if you look at north carolina, georgia, these are really long-term decades old right to work states. they have some of the highest rates of unemployment right now and then you've got states like massachusetts and long being stronghold of unionism and workers, and they've got one of the lowest right now. it's not about right to work, it's not what people make it out to be. >> brenda: gary b, you see that bullet, don't you? >> i do. i suppose you can pick and choose your states, but the overall average of states with right to work laws is 10% lower unemployment than states that don't have it. wages are a little bit higher in non-right to work states, but i think people at this point would rather have jobs for more than higher wages for a few. >> brenda: jonas, your impact
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on the unions getting on employment, basically. >> it's tough, because certain like new york have high union, and okay jobs. the kind of jobs the companies are losing and making if they have natural resources in the growth area, but largely speaking to gary's point. unions mean higher wages and higher unemployment. removing them means lower unemployment, lower wages. right now, the economy could use the jobs more than the higher wages and both in the real world. but frankly the wheels have left the barn, whatever, because they're losing jobs in the state that are allowing you to pay unions-- and unless the whole country has the same rules it's already going to happen. >> brenda: larry, unions are fighting hard because their membership has been declining dramatically, just 12% of the work force right now? >> exactly right, brenda. this is about keeping and creating jobs in a state like michigan, highly skilled work force and they've been bleeding jobs.
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and unions are big labor is big business in this country and a billion dollars a year on these elections and these are failed, failed policies and that's why the states are losing jobs. you know, instead, redirect those toward more productive uses within the labor force, training workers, keeping them in the work force and keeping them in the state and we don't need another recall like in wisconsin a complete waist of money and union dollars and that's why this is happening. >> toby last word here? >> we're going to see it's a big battle. but this is a battle that if they win, they lose for the state of michigan. >> brenda: okay. that's the last word. thank you all and thanks for joining us. so, you think coal is the worst christmas present ever? not here on bulls and bears, why that's all you should want from santa this clear.
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>> predictions? and toby, you're up. >> the snow is coming and time to get toro out there, toro, toro, toro make snow blowers. >> brenda: larry bull or bear? >> i'm a bear. i only like it on the pullback, great company, too expensive. >> brenda: gary b, your prediction. >> speakining of pullbacks, i like the dow, i think the overreacted to the fiscal cliff, and 20% this time next year. >> brenda: jonas bull or bear. >> not as bullish as that. >> brenda: larry, your

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